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Aquaman makes waves at the box office

By XU FAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-28 08:36
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A still from the Hollywood superhero blockbuster, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, features the titular character, played by Jason Momoa, and his infant son. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Five years ago a scene featuring a long-haired man, wielding a trident, leaping from the jaws of a sea monster in a tumultuous sea, captivated audiences in thousands of theaters across the country.

With its innovative visual effects showcasing an underwater world, the film Aquaman swiftly ascended to become the highest-grossing DC superhero film on the Chinese mainland. It raked in a staggering box-office revenue of 2.01 billion yuan ($281.4 million), following Avengers: Infinity War and Venom, to become the third highest-grossing foreign movie on the Chinese mainland in 2018.

Recently, the director of the movie, James Wan, and the actor portraying the titular character, Jason Momoa, returned to China, embarking on a promotional tour for the sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. They visited four cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan's Chengdu, and Guangzhou, Guangdong province — to share the behind-the-scenes stories from the new epic.

Picking up where it left off in the first installment, the new movie sees the titular protagonist face off against a new threat from his foe, Black Manta, who is still driven by the need to avenge his father's death in the first movie. In an attempt to stop the super villain, whose actions will cause a catastrophe for both the land and the ocean, Aquaman has to turn to his imprisoned brother, set aside their differences and forge an unlikely alliance.

Wan, also known among Chinese fans for the Hollywood blockbuster Furious 7, says he feels excited to return to the country, and says that the Chinese audience will discover how Aquaman has changed in the sequel.

"Five years later, he (Aquaman) is not just the king of Atlantis. He's married. He's a husband. He's also a dad. So, part of the fun is seeing how he juggles the responsibility of being a king and a dad. Sometimes, being a superhero is about waking up each morning and doing the work that you may not want to do," says the director with a smile.

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